Decision Makers: Building the Model Program with TCU AD Jeremiah Donati
Over the last 20 years, the TCU athletic department has used a model of stability and constant progress to work its way into the national consciousness. Relegated to the Western Athletic Conference following the collapse of its home for 72 years, the Southwest Conference, the Horned Frogs worked their way back up the ladder, moving from the WAC (1996-2000) to Conference USA (2001-2004) to the Mountain West (2005-2011) before finally reaching the Big XII in 2012.
Having accomplished so much over the past 25 years, it would be easy for the athletic department to sit back and admire its achievements, but that’s not the approach that TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati is taking.
Donati took the reins of TCU Athletics in December 2017 after serving for six years in various capacities under his mentor and predecessor Chris del Conte. One of the first projects he tackled after being named AD was to step up the digital presence of the program.
“Our marketing department had a small video component in the past and we found that fraction of the department wasn’t able to service all the sports,” he says. “We separated that and bolstered that group to give them some autonomy.
Upgrades to stadiums and athletic facilities is another area where Donati is looking to push forward and continue improving. Despite completing a renovation to Amon Carter Stadium in 2012, he saw the opportunity expand premium seating options for fans. This move means increased revenue for all sports, not just football.
Donati also hits on the possibility of expanded alcohol sales at sporting events, his relationship with TCU’s three most high-profile coaches, and the advantage the school has by being located in Fort Worth.
No longer feeling like the newcomers to the conference, TCU is looking to take the next step in the Big XII and on the national stage. With the current leadership the university has in the place, there is no reason to think it can’t.
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